SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California’s severe drought is taking a serious toll on San Francisco’s aging sewer system.
Some of the city’s 1,000 miles of sewer pipes are more than 100 years old, among the first installed after the Gold Rush.READ MORE: Oakland To Spend $5.8 Million To Fill Vacant Police Officer Positions
The waste was getting dumped into the streets, the streets were getting all muddy, and they thought, let’s do something about that. So, they built these pipes,” SFPUC Assistant General Manager Tommy Moala said.
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You might think that the drought would give the sewer system a break, with not as much water going through it. But, while San Franciscans are sending less water down the drain because of conservation, the same, or more sewage is being sent through the system that isn’t being drained as well as before.
“It’s an organic material. It breaks down. It creates hydrogen sulfide. That eats up the concrete in the pipes if it sits there long enough,” Moala said.Omicron Variant Outbreak Reported In Alameda County Among People Already Vaccinated; Cases 'Mildly Symptomatic'
With thousands of people moving into San Francisco, the city’s infrastructure continues to be taxed, no more so than the sewer system. But, sewer workers say they’ll do their best. It’s their duty.